Severely burned skin, dark tanned body
Image: Shutterstock/Marko Marcello

6 Homemade Ways To Cool Sunburns

With summer quickly approaching, you’ll probably be eagerly planning your fun in the sun. But winter has a way of making us forget the worse menace of summer: sunburn. The obvious way to take care of it is to use an SPF, but sometimes plans pop up and we don’t have any or we just plain forget to apply or reapply it.

So when the sun gets the better of you, you’ll want relief fast or you’ll end up risking dark marks and wrinkles. You’ll need something to repair the skin, reduce inflammation, and soothe the pain, all while helping the skin absorb and retain moisture. Below are several easy ways to cool sunburns and everything else that comes along with them.

Milk Compress

Milk is one of those skin-nourishing and moisturizing home remedies everybody should try. So when your skin is dry and burnt, it makes sense to reach straight for the milk. Applying milk chilled will soothe that hot, roasted skin. Simply rest a soft washcloth in a bowl of cool milk until saturated, and lay it on the troubled area.

Good Ol’ Aloe Vera

This one had to be included because it’s so ubiquitous. Usually we all think of that giant jar of bright green goop you can find at stores in the skin care area. Not bad in a pinch, but with all the additives, you may just want to opt for the natural product. Look for an organic, natural aloe vera gel product. Or better yet, get an aloe vera leaf, slice it and lay that on your burn.

Tea Bags & Mint

There’s nothing quite as cooling and soothing as mint. Green tea is full of antioxidants that can help repair skin, and it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent. To get the most benefits, you’ll want to make a very strong brew. Pour about four cups of boiling water over five green tea bags and 3 cups of fresh mint. Let it sit for an hour. Then strain it, and chill the mixture. Apply to the burn using cotton pads or a soft washcloth.


Cucumbers have long been used as a soothing, skin-nourishing treatment to get rid of swelling and redness. As such, they’re amazingly cooling and soothing on sunburns. Lay some slices on the worst part of your burns until the cucumbers are warm. For wider coverage, create a pure cucumber paste in a blender and leave that on your skin for at least 30 minutes, and then rinse.

Plain Yogurt

Yogurt is a natural moisturizer that can help with sunburns, as well. Plus the cool, creamy texture should help take away some of the stinging heat of the burn. Make sure you’re going for the plain kind that’s live and cultured for the greatest skin benefits. Just let the yogurt sit on your burn for 5-15 minutes, and then rinse it off.

Drink Water

This may fall under the confusing category, since the burn is on top of the skin. It’s natural to want to treat the burned area first. But drinking water will rehydrate your whole system, allowing the skin to hydrate and maintain itself from the inside out. It’s essential when it comes to ways to cool sunburns.